Don’t get me wrong - race day is all sorts of awesome. But that stretch leading up to race day? It’s not exactly a walk in the park. Planning, marketing and executing a race is stressful, right?
Fortunately, there's no law that says you have to give in to all the stressors. You can enter race day feeling cool as a cucumber. Here are some ways to destress before race day:
The best way to destress before race day is to have systems in place well in advance that pretty much guarantee everything will run smoothly ON race day. #gamechanger
Systems are an absolute must if you don’t want to spend the weeks or months leading up to race day fighting off panic attacks or wringing your hands with constant anxiety. Having the right systems in place for your race is basically the business equivalent of taking a nice, big chill pill.
Look at everything that you’ve got going on leading up to race day, and create well documented systems that allow you to take yourself out of the day-to-day tasks and have everything run on autopilot.
For example, instead of scrambling to write and publish updates to your training plan on your race registration website each week, schedule all of the content ahead of time so it gets pushed out automatically. Or, instead of manually pulling data every time you need to take a look at your race registration numbers through your event management software, use imATHLETE’s Scheduled Reporting Feature to have the reports you need sent to you on the regular.
The point is, the more you automate and systematize, the less you need to stress.
One of the biggest stressors race directors have to deal with leading up to race day is what I call Creator Syndrome; since you’re the one responsible for bringing the race to life, you also feel responsible for every detail (large, small and microscopic) that goes into making that happen. And that, my friend, is basically the fast train to Burnout Land. If you want to maintain your sanity and not dissolve into a puddle of stress pre-race, you need to let go of control, get some things off your plate and delegate.
Take a look at how you’re spending your time and take a look at what tasks you can realistically get rid of. You’re going to want to pass off any tasks that you’re terrible at, any tasks that you absolutely hate doing and any tasks that, even though you might be good at or enjoy, just aren’t a top priority and can totally be managed by someone else on your team (social media, I’m looking at you!).
Less on your plate = less to stress about. So hop on board that delegation train.
Practice Self Care
This one might sound a little new age or woo-woo, but bear with me. Self care is always important, but it’s especially important in times of stress…like that home stretch leading up to race day.
Obviously, there’s no way to avoid being busy in the weeks leading up to go time, but that’s when you need to prioritize yourself the MOST, lest you fall victim to a complete stress-induced breakdown. Get a massage, make time to run every morning, write in a journal, re-read Harry Potter for the 10,000th time (what, is that just me?) Whatever floats your boat and makes you feel calm and happy, DO IT. And do it often.
It might feel self indulgent, but your race (and your team) aren’t going to benefit from you being a pent up ball of stress. Prioritize taking care of yourself, and that’s going to make you better able to take care of your race.
Take a deep breath, light some candles, get your zen on and destress. Trust me - your race will thank you.